PM to meet party leaders as PSI talks continue

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is due to meet on Thursday with the leaders of PASOK, New Democracy and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) ? the three parties that make up his interim government ? to brief them on how debt restructuring talks are progressing and in an effort to obtain renewed backing from the coalition partners for his government?s program.

Papademos reportedly wants to get a clear show of support from PASOK leader George Papandreou, New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras and LAOS president Giorgos Karatzaferis for the reforms the interim government has to carry out.

In its own way, each party has adopted an equivocal stance on a range of measures that the interim government has to adopt. Some reports suggest that Papademos might ask the three party leaders to give written commitments regarding their support for his administration.

The prime minister will also brief the party leaders on the progress of Private Sector Involvement (PSI) talks with bondholders.

Talks are due to continue on Thursday after Institute of International Finance (IIF) managing director Charles Dallara met with Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday. IIF spokesman Frank Vogl has also joined the negotiations.

Greece is under pressure to secure a deal, key to a second financing package for the cash-strapped country, before a March 20 bond payment that will cost 14.5 billion euros.

Fitch Ratings has said the October agreement would amount to a ?default event? once implemented, while the International Swaps and Derivatives Association has said it wouldn?t trigger credit-default swaps bought by investors as insurance against the country failing to meet its obligations.

The creditors? steering committee includes representatives from banks and insurers with the largest holdings of Greek government bonds, including National Bank of Greece SA, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank AG Deutsche Bank AG Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, ING Groep NV, Allianz SE and Axa SA.

Financial firms on the IIF?s private-creditor investor committee, the larger group that includes the smaller steering committee, hold more than 47 billion euros in Greek sovereign debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from company reports.

[Kathimerini English Edition

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